Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taza Stone Ground Chocolate


And now for something completely different ... Hot Chocolate! And the big surprise is that its not spiked with anything other than a pinch of cayenne pepper. Honest!

A few weeks ago, the good folks at Taza Stone Ground Organic Chocolate reached out to me and offered a sample of their product. After taking a spin around their very cool site, I was more than intrigued. They are committed to producing a line of high quality, organic, chocolates in a socially responsible way. Yay, Taza!

Located in Somerville, Massachusetts, Taza was founded in 2006 and specializes in small batch "bean-to-bar" chocolate products made in the "traditional Mesoamercian" way. Meaning, the chocolate is minimally processed and ground by stone rather than steel. Taza works with small chocolate and sugar co-operatives around the globe to ensure fair wages and socially responsible practices and their operation is as green as green can be. Just take a look at this page from their website ... from recycled packaging to "human powered local delivery", they've really got it down. Color me impressed.

They sent me a disc of their Salted Almond Chocolate Mexicano and I put it to good use. Last night I whipped up a mug of hot chocolate using the disc and it was spectacular! Smooth, creamy, rich and delicious - this is not your average cup of cocoa. Its something more ... much, much more.

Spiced Hot Chocolate:
Using a box grater, grate one whole disc of Taza Chocolate Mexicano and reserve.

Heat the milk in a small sauce pan until hot and foamy, but not yet boiled. You want the milk to be hot, but not scaled. To the milk, add a dash of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and a small pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired, stir to combine and remove the pan from the heat. Add the grated chocolate and whisk vigorously using a wire whisk or molinillo for one to two minutes, until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is creamy and frothed. Pour into a mug and serve immediately, garnished with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

As written, this recipe will serve 1.

How good is this hot chocolate? So good I burned my tongue because I couldn't stay away from it and let it cool. So good I immediately went online and ordered more Taza Chocolate Mexicano. Really. Now let's be clear, although they sent me this product in hopes that I'd write about it, I would not recommend it here if I wouldn't buy it myself. And buy it, I did ... a lovely little sampler pack. I can't wait to try the other flavors.

I do realized that today is Thursday and some of you might, indeed, be thirsty ... so if you're of a mind, go right ahead and add a shot of booze to this already decadent hot cocoa. I'd recommend bourbon. With or without the shot, I urge you to try it. Taza Chocolate Mexicano is a high quality product that is so rich and velvety you'll become addicted with just a single sip. You've been warned.

At $4.50 per package, the Chocolate Mexicano may seem a bit pricey - though there are two discs per package which works out to $2.25 per cup of cocoa. I figure it this way, you'd pay at least as much in a coffee bar and, in this case, you're paying for a responsibly sourced product, produced in an environmentally sound facility. I think its worth it. I think I'm worth it ... and so are you!

Bon appetit!

15 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Taza is SUCH a stellar chocolate brand/company; and I can actually eat their products since they're free of gluten and soy (I'm allergic). Thanks for featuring them! :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

I'm not familiar with this brand. I love the way its packaged in a disk like that. It looks fantastic. I am going to check out their website.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks marvelous! I adore spicy hot chocolate, and well chocolate in general. Being a follower of organic and eco-friendly foods, I appreciate learning about new and interesting organic gourmet products.

The Duo Dishes said...

Mmm, the bourbon sounds good. It's decadence in a mug.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Now that's a hot tottie i would like to warm me up on these chilly nights we've been having!

Vickie said...

Diva! That sounds yummy and different. I will have to try it!

Daily Spud said...

Wow - I'm just recovering from 3 days worth of chocolate festival and you'd think I would have had enough of chocolate! However I saw your post and now I want me some hot chocolately goodness. Haven't seen Taza here but I have a stash of good quality cacao that will have to do as a substitute...

Velva said...

Oh wow!! That hot chocolate looks delicious! Interesting, that it is a bot spicy-looks like it is a grown-up hot chocolate. Yum!

doggybloggy said...

what a nice cocoa - I want some!

pixelgal said...

Sounds like these little discs would make excellent stocking stuffers, (hint, hint).

Tangled Noodle said...

I'm not familiar with Taza but it sounds wonderful! I've had cinnamon-y hot chocolate but haven't tried adding cayenne. I'd love to give it a try! (The second disc would be reserved for the bourbon option.) 8-)

Laura said...

yum yum yum I love making real hot chocolate! All we get up here is Abuelas. I might have to make a stop at there site and order some.

Sorry I've been lax on comments we have been sicker than dogs but hopefully better now.

5 Star Foodie said...

Hot chocolate sounds so wonderful especially with a pinch of cayenne, excellent!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, everyone! The Taza hot chocolate is truly scrumptious and I can't wait for my little sampler packet to arrive. I'm anxious to try the other flavors, especially the guajillo chili variety ... maybe with some bourbon this time!

They would indeed make fine holiday gifts as well. :)

Deb said...

Gotta love anything chocolate - nowif only the weather would cooperate for us to feel like hot chocolate!